New Westminster

New Westminster

Heritage lamp posts with flower baskets against backdrop of heritage building in New Westminster, Vancouver.

Where is New Westminster?

Although considered to be part of the Greater Vancouver area, New Westminster actually has city status itself.

New Westminster is situated south of Downtown Vancouver, on the north bank of the Fraser River and is adjacent to the southern end of Burnaby and the south western end of Coquitlam.

Both the Millennium Line and the Expo Line of the SkyTrain stop at New Westminster station, making the SkyTrain probably the quickest and easiest way to get to this part of Vancouver.

New Westminster Attractions

New Westminster is a historically important city of British Columbia. It was initially declared the capital of the Colony of British Columbia by Queen Victoria in 1859, who named it after the part of London called Westminster, leading to the City’s nickname of the Royal City. However, when Vancouver Island and the Colony were united in 1866 it was decided that Victoria would become the capital of British Columbia.

Despite this set back, New Westminster remained a vibrant and expanding city and now offers visitors the chance to experience a great deal of history. There are still many Heritage Sites here where you can get a taste of the city of New Westminster through the years since it first began to be developed. This makes New Westminster particularly appealing for those who are interested in architectural styles, as there are a great many to see here.

New Westminster Highlights

Heritage Walks

The City of New Westminster actively encourages both residents and visitors to find out more about the city’s unique heritage and to this end there are a number of Heritage Walks available which invite you to discover more. There are four self-guided walking tours: the Historic Residential Walking Tour, the Historic Columbia Walking Tour, the Esplanade Walking Tour and the Upper New Westminster Walking Tour which take you through a variety of streets and offer a great introduction to New Westminster’s history. For full details of the walking tours, visit the Tourism New Westminster Website.

Irving House Historic Centre and New Westminster Museum

The starting point for one of the Heritage Walking Tours is Irving House, where you have the chance to step back in time and go inside this historic house. Read more about Irving House and the New Westminster Museum here.

May Day Ceremony

If you’re visiting the area in May, be sure to check out the longest running May Day Celebration in the Commonwealth! New Westminster’s May Day Celebrations have been happening annually since 1870 and have become quite famous. The event gives visitors the opportunity to experience a traditional May Pole Dance and to witness the crowning of the May Queen, though do be advised that this occurs on the Victoria Day weekend rather than May 1st! For further information on this and other events happening in New Westminster, visit the Hyack Festival Website.

For further information on everything you can see and do in New Westminster, visit the City of New Westminster Website, or the Tourism New Westminster Website.